3253321 Gunner Johnny VENSKOONAS, 72 Anti-Tank Regiment, RA - July 1943?

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Joe197, Feb 19, 2024.

  1. Joe197

    Joe197 New Member

    Hi everyone, newbie here! I'm looking for some much-needed information about my great, great, great uncle's movements and the possible cause of death. My grandmother's uncle, Gunner Johnny Venskoonas, served in the 72 Anti-Tank Regiment. We have located his grave and understand that there is a memorial at Brookwood. Different family members have provided varying accounts of the possible reasons behind his death. I know it is impossible to access detailed records, but is it feasible to understand the movements of the regiment at the time of his death on 24 Jul 1943?

    Unfortunately, due to the way families are, some misinformation has crept into discussions over time, ranging from suicide to an issue at sea, with suggestions of being found at sea (?), according to family sources. I am hopeful that collaborating on dates and uncovering the general regimental history would be a positive step. The regimental history itself is interesting alone. Any help from the community is greatly appreciated.
    travers1940 likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Welcome aboard. If use the search option with the surname there are three threads: the CWGC grave, and the RA memorial @ Brookwood (where a member offered to take a photo now many years ago).

    This website will help to give an outline of the history: 72 Anti-Tank Regiment RA - The Royal Artillery 1939-45

    There is a current thread on the regiment, which may have clues: Gunner Thomas Allan, 72 Anti-Tank Regt, Royal Artillery, 1944/1945

    If you search with "72 anti-tank" site:ww2talk.com it will show you a small number of threads about the regiment.

    The first fact I noted was the regiment was deployed to North Africa and his grace is in Glasgow.

    We always recommend applying for his Service Record, it is the definitive account; yes, it will take to time be provided by the MoD or The National Archives. Details on a PM to come next.

    The name is familiar from recent reading here, possibly incomplete and I cannot recall which thread! Sorry.
  3. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    According to the casualty lists, he died at sea. But 72 Anti-Tank Regiment was in North Africa at this time - was he sick and being transported back to UK?


    Attached Files:

  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    RA casualty card doesn't really help

    dbf likes this.
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList

    You could also try applying for a copy of his death certificate as that should confirm cause of death.

    I'm leaning towards him coming back partly because he's with a unit, not an unallocated reinforcement, and partly because the ship wouldn't have turned round to bring him back.
  6. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    According to St Peter's cemetery records his place of death was 102 Portugal Street, he was buried 28 July 1943, also he is recorded at the same address in the electorial rolls for 1935 - 1940. Death certificate best bet as advised above.

    First name(s) John
    Last name Venskoonas
    Birth year 1911
    Age 32
    Death year 1943
    Registration district number 567/2
    District Gourock
    Place Gourock
    County Renfrewshire
    Country Scotland
    Source Scottish civil registers

    I'll leave you to work that one out!

  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Possibly relevant background from Donald Low's memoir A Share of Time:

    105.jpg 106.jpg
  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Mentioned previously in this thread as a commemoration moved from Brookwood Memorial by 28 August 2021. Looks like it was part of the In From The Cold Project.
    Brookwood Memorial

    You can view an extract of Scottish Death Certificates here.
    Certificate Search | ScotlandsPeople
  9. Requin44

    Requin44 Member

    I’m pretty sure they had a floating hospital so you are probably correct. And if someone does during service aren’t those open?

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